Popcorn Time is a great app for watching free movies and TV shows on a wide range of devices. But under its butter-smooth interface Popcorn Time is BitTorrent client.
Due to the large amount of copyrighted material that can be streamed using Popcorn Time, content producers know it's a hivebed of people infringing on their copyright. As a result, it has garnered a lot of attention, which can sometimes result in user recieving cease and desist orders if they are unlucky enough to get found out.
For this reason alone we, and Popcorn Time themslves, strongly recommend users first connect to a VPN before streaming movies and TV shows on their service. But what is the best VPN to use with Popcorn Time? We're here to tell you…
What are the Best VPNs for Popcorn Time?
ExpressVPN offers both high levels of security and fast torrenting speeds, making it ideal for Popcorn Time. In addition, the service uses the VPNOnlineFree protocol implemented to pretty high standards. It has apps for all platforms, will unblock streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and provides a high level of customer care via live chat support. If you're not happy with the service, ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.
Despite being based in the United States, with its intrusive stance on privacy, Private Internet Access curbs these woes by keeping a zero-log policy. This is something the company has actively proven in court, meaning no identifiable data can be scraped by intrusive third-parties. With servers in 33 countries and strong VPNOnlineFree encryption, this is a great VPN for streaming with Popcorn Time.
CyberGhost is an easy to use VPN, ideal for Popcorn Time users. The app has a pre-screen that lets you select activity preferences. It then adjusts the VPN's settings to suit your intended connections. These options include ‘unblock streaming' and ‘torrent anonymously.' You can play around with these settings to see which gives you the best performance for Popcorn Time. This VPN has a 45-day money-back guarantee and also unblocks popular services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
PrivateVPN is an excellent VPN provider based in Sweden that is ideally suited to downloading torrents privately. This VPN has robust apps for all platforms that provide military grade VPNOnlineFree encryption. This ensures that your use of Popcorn Time is completely secure.
Thanks to the VPN killswitch, you can be sure that you will never leak data to your ISP. And this VPN has obfuscation for concealing VPN use and getting around firewalls or bandwidth throttling. PrivateVPN has super-fast servers in over 50 countries, and it is one of the few VPNs that unblocks a massive choice of Netflix catalogs from around the globe. WE enjoy this VPN because of its ability to unblock more content than other VPNs. Plus this VPN has live chat to help you get the VPN working with any service you want.
A fantastic VPN that is easy to use on any system. You can try it yourself to compare it to the other recommendations thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee.
IPVanish is a US-based provider that has a solid no logs policy. This means that no matter who approaches the VPN, it will never have any information about what its subscribers have done online.
This VPN is fast, which means it is good for downloading content and streaming. And it has servers that permit torrenting in 60 countries around the globe. This makes it perfect for getting the best possible speeds; no matter where you live. Where privacy is concerned, this VPN is at the top-end of the market. It implements robust VPNOnlineFree encryption and comes with advanced features such as a killswitch and XOR obfuscated servers. This makes it ideal for using Popcorn Time in secrecy.
We enjoy this VPN’s software, which is easy to use on any platform. And we like that users can install and use it on upto 10 devices. A useful VPN that can be tested risk free thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee.
SaferVPN is another fantastic provider that is in the top end of the VPN industry. This provider is based in Israel, a country that is famous for its expertise in all matters cybersecurity and data protection.
With SaferVPN you get access to servers in 52 countries, and those servers are fast enough for downloading and streaming content in HD. However, please bear in mind that this VPN isn’t as fast as some of the other providers in this guide. The apps are available for all platforms, and they provide strong encryption to protect your privacy as you use Popcorn Time. They also come with a killswitch to ensure you don’t accidentally leak unencrypted data to your ISP.
A solid VPN that you can test using its money back guarantee. However, please bear in mind that you will need to connect to the Netherlands server to torrent content on Popcorn Time (which may make it a bit too slow depending on where you live).
Anybody who understands that speeds are important for using Popcorn Time – or for torrenting and streaming – is going to be on the lookout for a VPN that has fast Tier-1 servers.
With StrongVPN, you get a service that consistently comes out as one of the fastest VPNs in the world, month after month. With StrongVPN you get secure apps for all platforms and you can install and use the VPN on upto 12 devices with one subscription plan. Where privacy is concerned, this VPN has a strong no logs policy to ensure it never has any data to hand over to the authorities – even if it is served a warrant.
However, this VPN only has a killswitch on Windows, so this VPN will probably only be suitable for Popcorn Time users on a Windows machine. However, if that is you, this VPN is excellent. Well worth testing using its 30-day money back guarantee.
The ultimate guide to Popcorn Time VPNs: Everything you need to know
Why do I need a VPN for Popcorn Time?
You need a VPN for Popcorn Time because a VPN will hide what you get up to online from your internet service provider (ISP) and prevents anyone on the internet from knowing who you are.
Popcorn Time is basically a polished BitTorrent client. This means that instead of streaming a movie from a centralized server (as you do with Kodi, for example), the movie is hosted by everyone who is watching or downloading that movie.
This lack of centralization means there are no servers that can get raided and their operators arrested. It does also mean, though, that everyone else watching or downloading the same movie or TV show as you know exactly who you are because their BitTorrent client needs to know (and can therefore see) your real IP address. This is why you shouldn't use Popcorn Time without a VPN.
If you're new to the world of VPNs or torrenting, we can help you get up to speed with our handy guides:
How does a VPN for Popcorn Time protect me?
A VPN service works like this: The VPN operates servers, usually located in many countries around the world. You connect to these servers via a secure encrypted connection. So, all the other people sharing the same torrent file as you will see is the IP address of the VPN server rather than your actual IP address.
This deceptively simple setup protects you when using Popcorn Time because:
- Copyright holders (and anyone else on the internet) cannot see your real IP address or who your ISP is because the VPN server blocks their “view.” All they can see is the IP address of the VPN server. This is invariably shared among many (sometimes hundreds) of VPN users, making it very hard to tell who did what.
- Your ISP cannot see either your data (because it is securely encrypted between your device and the VPN server) or what you get up to on the internet because the VPN server acts as a proxy, beyond which your ISP cannot see.
Important features for a Popcorn Time VPN
There are some important features to look out for when choosing a Popcorn Time VPN, these are:
Make sure the VPN allows P2P torrenting
Not all do, and if they don’t, then they make no promises to protect you when they receive the inevitable DMCA complaints from copyright holders. If a VPN service allows torrenting, though, it will protect you when using Popcorn Time. The only issue to watch out for is…
A Kill Switch
VPN connections occasionally fail. If this happens when you are in the middle of watching a movie on Popcorn Time then everyone else sharing the same movie file (including regular BitTorrent downloaders) will immediately be able to see your real IP address. The solution is to use a kill switch, which shuts down your internet connection when the VPN connection goes down. Check out our guide to kill switches for more information.
All the VPNs featured in our best VPNs for Popcorn Time list have a kill switch.
The higher your bandwidth (that is, the faster your internet connection), the higher resolution you can stream content without experiencing annoying buffering issues.
A good Popcorn Time VPN is, therefore, also a fast VPN. As always, speed performance can be improved by connecting to a server close to your real location and by selecting servers which are not overloaded.
Popcorn Time offers most content in either 720p or 1080p resolutions. TV shows are sometimes available in 480p. If you experience buffering issues when streaming then you can reduce buffering by switching to a lower resolution version of the movie or show.
Can I use a VPN when casting?
The short answer is… yes.
Popcorn Time allows you to stream from your device to a big screen via Chromecast, Airplay, and DLNA. Most VPN apps exempt local network addresses from the VPN so you can access stuff like WiFi printers and LAN drives when the VPN is running.
Assuming this is the case with your provider, then you will be able to cast Popcorn Time content over your local WiFi network without any problem.
If for some reason your provider’s software routes local network connections through the VPN, then you may not be able to connect to your cast-enabled devices. The good news, though, is that most generic VPN software does allow you to bypass the VPN for local networks.
Above we can see the settings in VPNOnlineFree for Android edit VPN connection -> Routing.
Technically yes, although it's not recommended. Popcorn Time contains a lot of copyrighted material and streaming any of this could land you in hot water with the copyright holder, your ISP or even the authorities.
Popcorn Time is an open source piece of software and in theory is safe. However, you need to make sure you use a safe version. To find out more, take a look at our Is Popcorn Time Safe? guide where we look at this topic in-depth.